Ignoring the punk era's disdain for guitar gymnastics, Mike Jourgensen is one ax-wrangling contortionist -- whether he's immersed in technically blinding, top-of-the-neck solos or fuzzed-out squalling at stun-gun volume. Jourgensen's latest self-named incarnation, backed by bassist Elie Kimura and kit basher Scott Young (Pil Bug, Hound), shifts slightly in direction from his former outfit, Abdomen, with cleaner and poppier results. Bridging the gap between youthful abandon and adult consequence, the trio softens urban hardcore with flighty psychedelia -- adding trails of Day-Glo jet steam to a sound that recalls Dinosaur Jr. or Hüsker Dü. Raucously serene, the band laces its melodies with a curious blend of cathartic sound and fury, showcasing the frontman's weary tenor in the midst of roller-coaster riffs and lurching rhythms. Jourgensen's tuneful new solo debut, Late at Night, embodies the nocturnal musings of a veteran basement dweller -- one whose obsession for distant shores rides the intensity faders until the crack of dawn. Jump on the sound wagon at an all-ages show with the Otter Popps on Saturday, February 21, at Boulder's Club 156.
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